Small molecule-induced DNA hydrogel with encapsulation and release properties†
Hydrogels are networks of polymers that can be used for packaging different payload types. They are proven to be versatile materials for various biomedical applications. Implanted hydrogels with encapsulated drugs have been shown to release the therapeutic payloads at disease sites. Hydrogels are usually made through chemical polymerization reactions. Whereas, DNA is a naturally occurring biopolymer which can assemble into highly ordered structures through noncovalent interactions. Here, we have employed a small molecule, cyanuric acid (CA), to assemble polyA-tailed DNA motif into a hydrogel. Encapsulation of a small molecule chemotherapeutic drug, a fluorescent molecule, two proteins and several nanoparticle formulations has been studied. Release of doxorubicin, small fluorescent molecule and fluorescently-labeled antibodies has been demonstrated.